GFM Network News


Tom Vilsack speaks to farmers at a rural agricultural co-operative at Guira de Melena in Cuba on Nov. 13, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Alexandre Meneghini)

U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack as Biden’s ag secretary

Pandemic leaves USDA 'a lot of work to do'

Reuters — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Tom Vilsack to head the Department of Agriculture, returning the former Iowa governor to the job he held under ex-President Barack Obama. The 100-member Senate approved Vilsack 92-7. He needed a simple majority in the Democratic-controlled chamber to be confirmed. As secretary of the sprawling department, Vilsack […] Read more

Incoming WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala takes part in an online meeting before speaking during an interview with Reuters in Potomac, Maryland on Feb. 15, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Canada hails new WTO chief

Trade body names first African, and first female, DG

Canada is lending its support to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) choice for its new director general. Ngorzi Okonjo-Iweala was chosen Feb. 15 by WTO members as the international trade body’s new head, making her the first woman and the first African to serve in the role. Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of small business, export […] Read more


File photo of hogs in transit near Red Deer, Alta. (Stefonlinton/iStock/Getty Images)

Olymel shipping backlogged hogs to U.S.

Company-owned hogs to go south after COVID closes Red Deer plant

Winnipeg | Reuters — Olymel said Friday it was shipping pigs to the United States to help clear a backlog of hogs after it had to temporarily close its Red Deer, Alta. slaughter plant because of a coronavirus outbreak. Olymel shut the plant on Wednesday and declared force majeure — unforeseeable circumstances that prevent contract […] Read more

(Olymel video screengrab via YouTube)

Olymel to close Red Deer hog plant against COVID-19

Hog deliveries suspended 'until further notice'

Meat packer Olymel plans to temporarily close its hog slaughter and pork processing plant at Red Deer, Alta., winding down that facility’s operations starting this week against a rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak among workers. The plant, one of Canada’s largest by slaughter capacity at over 45,000 hogs per week, has notified its hog suppliers and […] Read more


Incoming WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala takes part in an online meeting before speaking during an interview with Reuters in Potomac, Maryland on Feb. 15, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala makes history as new head of WTO

Geneva-based body leaderless for six months; Trump paralyzed some of WTO's functions

Geneva/Washington | Reuters — Three months after the Trump administration rejected her, former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala received unanimous backing on Monday to become the first woman and first African director-general of the World Trade Organization. A self-declared “doer” with a track record of taking on seemingly intractable problems, Okonjo-Iweala will have her work […] Read more

An image created by Nexu Science Communication, together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus, the type of virus linked to COVID-19. (Nexu Science Communication via Reuters)

Foreign workers to lose some travel exemptions in March

Temporary foreign workers (TFWs) travelling to Canada won’t need to quarantine in a government-supervised hotel when they get here – for now — but by mid-March, Ottawa will put more stringent measures in place. Starting Feb. 22, non-essential travellers and essential workers arriving in Canada will be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival. Non-essential travellers […] Read more


(Glacier FarmMedia photo)

Glacier’s outdoor ag shows preparing digital event lineup

Each show to host multiple online events during 2021

The company hosting Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and its western counterpart, Ag in Motion, plans to use the online platforms it set up in 2020 to instead host multiple smaller online events this year. Both outdoor ag shows hosted by Winnipeg-based Glacier FarmMedia — the owner of this website — went online in 2020 due […] Read more

(RonTech2000/iStock/Getty Images)

Manitoba crop conference recovers allegedly phished funds

Court order frees event organizers' money from frozen account

The organizers of one of the last big Prairie farm events held before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have recovered funds temporarily lost to an alleged phishing scam. The CropConnect Conference — an annual crop production and farm management conference co-organized by Manitoba grain, oilseed and pulse grower groups — has received back almost […] Read more



File photo of South African malting barley. (Sunshine Seeds/iStock/Getty Images)

South Africa’s barley growers face bleak outlook on alcohol ban

Ban reinstated against COVID-19 surge

Johannesburg | Reuters — South African barley farmers are bracing for a tough market ahead as demand for the grain used to make beer falls and stockpiles grow after a ban on the sale of alcohol was reinstated as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases. The government in December enforced its third ban […] Read more